You’re spending a lot on your new roof, so you want to choose the right roofing material for you. You may ask: which roofing material lasts the longest? It’s wise to prioritize the longevity of your roof, to maximize your investment and avoid getting another new roof for as long as possible. The most durable roofs can last a lifetime if they are installed properly. Here’s a breakdown of how long each roofing material can last.

Most Durable Roofing: Metal Roofing

Metal roofing will last longer than other roofing materials, assuming it is installed properly. High-quality metal roofs can last 40 to 70 years. The coating on metal roofs protects it from rust and ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Otherwise, metal roofs resist the elements very well, including heat, snow, and hail.

But that doesn’t mean you can expect the same lifespan from every metal roof. The type of metal, thickness of the panels, and the type of finish applied to the metal all play into how long a metal roof will last. Of course, if installed improperly, even the best metal roof will have a shortened lifespan.

Second Most Durable Roofing: Asphalt Shingles

High-quality asphalt shingles can last a long time, though not as long as metal roofing. You can expect a well-designed shingle, properly installed, to last 15 years. Of course, others will not last as long. All are slowly degraded by UV rays, at which point they may tear or fall off.

You can gauge how long different shingles will last, or at least get some certainty about your investment, by comparing the length of the warranties. For example, as a CertainTeed Select Shingle Master, we can offer CertainTeed’s industry-leading warranty, which is a lifetime (50 years) on the shingles and 25 years on workmanship.

Other Roofing Materials

You can typically expect much shorter lifespans from other kinds of roofing, including:

  • Wood shingles
  • Clay tile
  • Concrete tile

These materials may degrade in the rain, as well as in UV light, and many only last a few years. You may still wish to use these materials for their unique look or historical authenticity. However, if you are only interested in buying a roof that will last as long as possible, you should avoid these materials.

Installation Affects Lifespan the Most

When a manufacturer designs their shingles or other roofing materials, they base their warranties and estimations about how long their product will last when it is installed correctly. Improper installation can end up ruining a whole roof well before its projected lifespan is over.

For example, if your roofer fails to drive the nails into your shingles correctly, several problems can develop. An overdriven nail may puncture through the shingle. When the nail head is too deep, it may allow the shingle to blow off the roof. However, a nail that isn’t driven deeply enough may cause the shingle above it to stick out. That is an opportunity for water to enter your roof.

If you want to get a roof with the longest lifespan, it is important to work with a roofer you trust to install it right.